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Ballymun was built between 1966 and 1969 by the National Building Agency which was established specifically for the task. The estate comprised seven 15-storey towers, nineteen 8-storey spine, ten 4-storey walk-ups and 400 single-family houses. From the beginning the management of the estate was a problem. Very soon this experiment with modernity experienced problems including an above average turnover and vacancy rate as flats could not be purchased. In 1997 Dublin City Council formed a company – Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. (BRL), to work with the community to develop and implement a Masterplan for regenerating Ballymun. Ciarán Murray was appointed as Managing Director and a voluntary Board of Directors was established. This board comprises local councillors, tenants, and representatives from the Housing Task Force, Ballymun Partnership, the Health Board, the private sector, the police and many community groups.

The Ballymun Housing Task Force was appointed as the oficial liaison group for the housing project. The first demolitions of the old tower blocks took place in 2003. The Ballymun Housing Plan has been rolled out in three phases. Phase 3 homes have now been designed and completed with 2,000 existing residents to be re-housed in them. There are a good variety of architectural expressions across all developments from cutting-edge modernism to more traditional style homes designed by BRL themselves. As Ballymun's social problems increased, so too did its community spirit. Today there are many community organisations active in Ballymun and they are intimately involved in the regeneration process.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Monday, February 11, 2008
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